Minnesota Duluth & Concordia – Tale of 2 Games

Minnesota Duluth   Concordia

As I wrote in my game preview article this morning, Concordia was about to play their toughest opponent of the season this morning in a double header against Minnesota Duluth.  The 2 teams kicked off play at 9am in the controlled atmosphere of the Metrodome.  The teams came away with a split as Concordia (5-1) dominated the first game, winning 8-4 before Minnesota Duluth (2-1) came back to win the 2nd game even bigger by a score of 9-1.

In game 1, the Golden Bears sent Jake Schmidt to the mound in his 2nd start.  Schmidt was just named Northern Sun Conference Pitcher of the Week for his performance against Northern State in Concordia’s opener.  This start definitely didn’t go as easily as it did last week as Schmidt gave up 8 hits in 6 innings and recorded only 5 strikeouts instead of the 13 he garnered last week.  That said, when he left the game after 6 innings his team held a commanding 8-2 lead and he notched his 2nd win of this early season.  If the Bulldogs could have sent center fielder, Will Dahlgren and shortstop, Tyler Erickson, to the plate each at bat it might have been a different game.  The pair combined for 7 of Duluth’s 10 hits in a perfect day at the plate.  Concordia was paced by catcher, Chris Herbert, who hit home runs in each of his first 2 at bats and finished with 5 RBI’s and 3 hits to lead his team.  It sounded like Golden Bear pitcher, Kirk Ingram, tied the team career record for appearances with his 51st trip to the mound.

In game 2, Concordia took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning but it was all Bulldogs after that.  Starting Minnesota Duluth pitcher, Bryan Denisen, was outstanding as he gave up only 2 hits in 5 innings pitched to get the win.  Josh Taran came in for the final 6 outs and only gave up 1 hit.  The Bulldogs offense was equally effective as they pounded out 15 hits.  They were led once again by Will Dahlgren (3-4) and Tyler Erickson (2-3) but it was senior David Olson who was 4-4 to lead the offense in their 9-1 rout.  One of the most important points in the game might not show up in the boxscore.  With Duluth up 4-1, NSIC preseason player of the year, Brenden Furrow came to the plate for Concordia to lead off the top of the 4th inning.  He and Denisen had a 12 pitch marathon battle that went FBKBFFFFBFF before Furrow grounded out.  If he’d have reached base instead it might have just made a difference.

Concordia is off until Wednesday February 25th when they face Division 3 foe St. John’s at the Metrodome.  Minnesota Duluth’s next games are in Joplin, MO when they travel to play 4 games against Missouri Southern on February 21st and 22nd.

Update – here are the write ups from each school:  Minnesota Duluth Recap  Concordia Recap

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